On October 4, 2017 was asked Is there any difference in meaning between ‘eternal’ and ‘everlasting’, which seems to me about as duplicate as you can get to the question of June 20 (2016) Difference between ‘everlasting’ and ‘eternal’, which contains two decent answers.

Please tell me if these are duplicates or not, as some of my recent tags have been rejected and I’m wondering if I should retract my duplicate flag on the Oct 4 question.

Also, if it is a straightforward dupe, why hasn’t it been voted as such? Do others not vote for possible duplicates?

  • 2
    Looks like a dupe to me, I have added a close-vote.
    – Hellion
    Oct 11, 2017 at 17:43
  • totally duplicates
    – Mitch
    Oct 11, 2017 at 20:31
  • "Some of my recent tags"? Surely you mean flags... right?
    – Laurel Mod
    Oct 12, 2017 at 0:38

2 Answers 2


I suspect you are right. I think the questions have the same intended scope, and that answers to the proposed original could be applied to the proposed duplicate.

However, I do think I can understand why others might disagree: With Nigel's edit, his question addresses a more specific context than the original one does. It could hypothetically be read as "Why did the King James Bible chose to consistently translate the greek olam into everlasting and aionos into eternal?" instead of "What is the usual difference between everlasting and eternal now?" Perhaps there is a difference in meaning that applied in Early Modern English that is no longer used, and if so, that point of interest may encourage separate sets of answers to each question.

We are usually pretty forgiving about the whole duplicate thing, if somebody can adequately explain why their question needs a different answer than the original. The duplicate policy mostly exists so that all answers regarding a particular issue can be found in one place, but if there are two separate issues that need to be answered differently, then it makes little sense to close one question as a duplicate as the other, even though they may seem to be the same at face value.

Although I suspect it is a duplicate, I would personally at least like to know which matter Nigel J is interested in knowing before deeming it a duplicate. If it is the issue explained in second half of the question, perhaps somebody could make a clarifying edit could be applied to show that the question is not a duplicate. However, if he really does just want to know the general difference between the two words is, then I would recommend keeping it closed as a duplicate

Also, due to the nature of the question, I also only mean to address this matter from the matter of if it is, or is not, a duplicate. Determining if it should, or should not be closed for some other reason is a much more complicated matter, due to the half dozen or so closure reasons that may apply. Naturally, if there is some other reason it should be closed, it should be closed regardless of if it is a duplicate or not.

  • 2
    Why did the King James Bible chose to consistently translate the greek olam into everlasting and aionos into eternal? is off topic here. It’s on topic over at Biblical Hermeneutics and maybe at Christianity. Oct 11, 2017 at 20:46
  • I think it would be better to put the question on hold and then clarify it. If you leave it open waiting for clarification, you're going to get answers that are likely to become obsolete.
    – ColleenV
    Oct 13, 2017 at 10:38

I added the above question after being on ELU for just four days and before I really knew how the site was operated.

The question is a valid one, for I was seeking the idiomatic use of the two words, in order to discover what meanings people, generally, saw in them.

The answers were totally in line with what I wanted and were informative.

Personally, I have no qualms about closure or deletion or however these matters are managed.

It is not always clear when asking a question whether it has been asked previously - within a large spectrum of the ways in which questions might be worded - and I get the impression that most, like myself, are surprised when they discover they have duplicated.

  • 2
    It's okay. Everyone's got some questions closed. You can search for previous questions using key words in the future, and that's part of the research expected before asking. You're doing okay.
    – NVZ Mod
    Oct 16, 2017 at 3:08
  • @NVZ Thank you.
    – Nigel J
    Oct 16, 2017 at 3:09
  • I see you've crossed 2000. Congratulations! Do check out questions other than single word requests. They're the tough ones to answer.
    – NVZ Mod
    Oct 16, 2017 at 3:11

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